I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. I felt that it was really needed especially when term papers and final exams are coming up within the next several weeks. I LOVE the holidays because not only do I have the chance to take a break from everything, but I also LOVE spending time with family and friends. However, like most of you, I still have a few weeks of class, which means that I have to resist the “itis” and focus on the tasks at hand: my papers and exam.
From my past experiences, I found taking breaks to be the best strategy to remain focus when trying to study or write a paper. Below, I provided some suggestions on how you can ensure that you finish your paper and/or study well for your exam(s).
Writing a Paper
Create a Timeline
I typically create a timeline for myself ahead of time for papers, especially if it is a long paper. If you like to plan ahead to avoid rushing your paper, this will be beneficial for you. The purpose of writing your own timeline is to allow you to space out the different parts of your paper and not feel rushed.
Write an outline
An outline is the best way to start a paper. I typically use the guidelines for the assignment so I can ensure that I meet all of the criteria. This will help you plan the flow of your paper.
Write a Rough Draft
Your rough draft is your first draft, where you fill out the information for each section of your paper.
Hint: Follow this order to help you with your paper organization: Topic sentence – Supporting details – Conclusion
It is best to ask someone to read over your paper to get a fresh set of eyes and get feedback on what areas you need to clarify. This will help you get an idea if your reader can understand the information that you are trying to convey.
Revise! Revise! Revise!
No draft is your final draft. There is always room for improvement so always revise when you can.
Taking Study Breaks
If you are like me, you may lose concentration after a certain amount of time. If you do, taking breaks every 20 minutes may help you retain more information and remain focus. Below are some tips that may help you with studying for your final exam(s).
Tip One: Study In Advance
Rather than having thoughts like “Ugh. I have to study” make studying a habit and make it part of your daily routine by scheduling times to study (Rodriguez, 2013).
Tip Two: Find a Study Group
Creating a study group with other students from your class can be useful because you may have a concept that you do not understand, but your classmate does. You can also divide up the information where each of you can explain the main idea to the group. By dividing the work, there will be less stress for all of you.
Tip Three: Individual Study Time
For those who prefer to study alone, I found the tips below (using my class notes) to be useful especially as a visual and spatial learner.
- Rewriting your notes allows you to jog your memory to help you remember what you learned in class
- Using bullet notes is easier to read than long paragraphs
- Outline the important concepts with mini descriptions (Simplifying your notes can make it easier to remember)
- Use flashcards when learning terminology
For additional ideas, check out my other blog on “Study Tips for Finals”: https://nopressur.blogspot.com/?m=0
Rodriguez, A. (2013). No pressure. Retrieved from https://nopressur.blogspot.com/?m=0